Thursday, April 12 was a day like any other for some, but for students such as juniors Amy Sweeney and James Pugh, it signified the first meeting of the Gay Straight Alliance.
“Mr. [Nick] Beckmann asked me why support for the gay community is only shown when they are faced with hate, such as Westboro Baptist Church, and not all of the time,” Sweeney said. “So, I decided I wanted to show my support every day.”
Because of this, the club was formed.
At the first meeting, approximately 40 students were in attendance in Mr. Beckmann’s room, according to both Sweeney and Pugh. Those who were present were able to elect officers; Sweeney is the President, Pugh is Vice President, junior Jasmine Chandler is Secretary, junior Sean Gundersen is Public Relations and senior Ellen Hinze is Historian.
Pugh feels a lot of people are interested in the topic and that is why there were so many people at the first meeting. He wants the club to continue next year and to leave an impact on the school.
“I hope the club will be active both in school and outside in the community,” Pugh said. “We want to make an impact at school and plan school-wide functions in order to increase awareness.”
Along with Pugh, Sweeney wants to get more students involved at future meetings as well.
“I want to get enough people involved with the Gay Straight Alliance so we can continue it not only next year, but every year. I hope people will tell their friends and get them to come to the meetings and events we plan to have,” Sweeney said. “With all of the bullying homerooms this year and the presentation by Tina Meier, I hope people will take our group seriously and see that they need support too.”
Sweeney says there will be at least one more meeting before the school year is over, but the date is not certain yet. If students want to get involved with the Gay Straight Alliance, they should contact one of the officers or look for events on Facebook.